Syllabus for Digital Illustration at Hood College
First, a time change.
Despite whatever time is listed in the catalog, we will meet on Tuesdays from 6 pm and usually wrap up by 8-9 p.m.
What is this class all about?
We are going to focus on learning two software programs; Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Adobe is a huge, international company that is leader in professional, industry standard graphic design, photography, video and web design software. This is the stuff that the pros use.
We will start with Adobe Photoshop, which is the preferred software of most people. With Photoshop, we will study photo retouching which will lead us into digital collage. In Adobe Illustrator, will learn about creating vector shapes and tracing. We will learn the basics of both programs, figure out which program you prefer, and experiment with how both programs can work in unison or independently to create two-dimensional artwork.
A laid back class.
No tests, no quizzes, and tentative deadlines. We learn art and software through doing and through practice, not pointless memorization and tedious writing. It’s pretty difficult to learn a new subject when you are stressed out anyway, so let’s not even go there. It’s okay to have fun with your assignments in this class. There are many different ways to work within the field of computer graphics, and I try to help you find yours.
You will have your projects, and I typically ask to see progress every class. When I feel we are ready to move on, we will. If you guys are working on something and it looks awesome, we can always extend the due date.
Consider your textbook to be theispot.com. This website is a showcase of the best digital and mixed media illustration out there, so study it for inspiration and to find a style that you might begin to develop.
As for the software, I don’t require a textbook. Not everyone is a book person. With digital illustration software, you have books, the help menu, and online tutorials and video. It’s all fair game so choose the reference material that suits your learning style. Show me what you find, and I’ll let you know my opinion of it and try and give you a better suggestion if needed. Besides, there are many different ways to do something in Photoshop and Illustrator. So it’s good for you to get different opinions and try different approaches to your intended goal.
If you follow along, do the work and show some basic understanding of computer graphics by the end of the semester, you get a B or C. Easy. If you really blow me away with creativity, determination, obsessive-compulsive work ethic, and overall cool artwork, you could get an A. Slackers get D’s and below. We typically meet during the last class to discuss your grade one-on-one, so we can take care of any disputes.
Just show up. There is a huge benefit to coming to class so that you can learn from the successes and mistakes of other students, and so that I can help you in person. No consequence for missed class, but you need to get in touch with me for anything you missed. If you know you will be absent in advance, let me know so we can try and make arrangements in case anything is due.
When the going gets tough.
Feel free to let me know what’s going on in your lives. There is more to life than work and school, so if you need to chat, are about to have a nervous breakdown, or need some sort of grace, just talk to me, and we will work something out. Promise.